The Canadian government announced it will ban "harmful" single-use plastics as early as 2021 in an attempt to reduce the near ubiquitous plastic waste.
The announcement also revealed that the government would work with the provinces and territories to introduce standards that would make companies responsible for their plastic waste.
Less than 10% of plastic recycled
"Less than 10% of the plastic used in Canada gets recycled.
Without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030. "We’ve reached a defining moment, and this is a problem we simply can’t afford to ignore," read the government's announcement.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, referred to the issue of plastic pollution as a "global challenge" and said that citizens were "tired" of seeing beaches and other territories polluted by plastic.
Canadians are tired of seeing our beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste. Learn more about the action we’re taking to ban harmful single-use plastics: https://t.co/GZBt0K10Nt#BeatPlasticPollutionpic.twitter.com/eZ0yT8ckY5— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 10, 2019
The government said the move would "reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create approximately 42,000 jobs."
Following in the European Union's footsteps
“We’ve all seen the disturbing images of fish, sea turtles, whales, and other wildlife being injured or dying because of plastic garbage in our oceans. Canadians expect us to act. That’s why our government intends to ban harmful single-use plastic products where science warrants it, and why we’re working with partners across Canada and around the world to reduce plastic pollution. Taking these steps will help create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs and make our economy even stronger—while protecting fish, whales, and other wildlife, and preserving the places we love," said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Although it's unclear which types of plastics will be banned, a source told the CBC that the full list will follow the model chosen by the European Union.
That means that plastic straws, cotton swabs, drink stirrers, plates, cutlery, and balloon sticks are likely to be included in the ban.